PKN Orlen, Poland’s largest oil refiner and petrol retailer, will start producing hand sanitizers to meet the country’s increasing demand for the product in the wake of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus.
"Orlen will start producing disinfectants this week. We will start with half a million litres and if needed up to a million litres". - said Orlen CEO Daniel Obajtek, referring to actions taken in relation to the coronavirus in Poland. "We have finished the testing phase and will start large-scale production this week." - he added.
The company is mainly focused on fuel production but is also a large player on the petrochemical market connected to the many chemical products used by the average household.
Mr. Obajtek stated that Orlen will rearrange its production lines to start work on a product it hasn’t previously offered.
"This is an incredible effort, titanic work because such plants, such lines, often take months to build. We shortened the process to ten to twelve days." - stressed Obajtek. He added that the process of producing hand sanitizers will use a production line which was previously dedicated for screen wash. The fact that screen wash production, just as hand sanitizers, needs large quantities of ethanol in the process, made its production line the best choice for the new product.
Mr. Obajtek stated that it’s important to remember that the State Treasury is a major shareholder of the company, which means that the company has an obligation to act according to heightened standards of corporate social responsibility.
The CEO of PKN Orlen added "every self-respecting company of this size must take care of its market and must take care of its clients” and reassured the public that the company will produce quantities that will satisfy the Polish market.
The decision that the company would start producing hand sanitizers was made last week after the Minister of Health, Łukasz Szumowski, informed the public of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Poland.